“And I will make boys their princes, and infants [caprice] shall rule over them.” (Isaiah 3:4)
In the 2nd chapter of Isaiah, it starts out with a futuristic vision. Isaiah 2 provides a picture of God and his law and order being exalted above all other things, with God settling disputes, people beating swords into plow shares, learning from God, worshiping God , and “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore”. (Is. 2:3-4) This is an Utopian dream.
When I was young in the 1960’s, I remember “flower children” protesting the Vietnam war and urging the world to live in peace. This is the same dream. It seemed so pure and simple. All we need is love.
Except, the 1960’s was also a tumultuous and chaotic time. Drugs, violence, and free sex were the order of the day. Young people were challenging and throwing off moral conventions and religious convictions. Unlike the Isaiah’s Utopian vision, the 1960’s dream was a secular one.
I have seen the consequences of that societal upheaval throughout my life. Drugs have taken an untold toll in lives lost and wasted. The opiate and heroin epidemic of our current times is partially a product of opening Pandora’s pillbox in the 1960’s.
Violence is as much or more a part of our world today than it was in the 1960’s. We don’t live in peace with each other. Wars continue to rage. Neighbors continue to fight with neighbors. More Americans are killed in the City of Chicago, alone, than in foreign wars. But that is only a drop in the bucket. Multiply all the other crime-ridden cities in the US. That doesn’t even begin to count what is happening in other parts of the world.
Free sex has also taken its toll. More children live in single family households today than ever before. The scourge of aids has taken God knows how many lives in the US and around the world. Pornography threatens to undo the fabric of our society, warping the minds and hearts of children at young ages, objectifying women and sex and feeding a ruthless and insatiable underworld industry that preys on vulnerable people in our communities.
In Isaiah 2:7-8, after describing the Utopian vision, the prophet comes back to reality. Jerusalem and greater Judah in Isaiah’s day were far from the utopia he envisioned. Isaiah’s description of the people in his time could be aptly applied to the people in the United States in this time:
“Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots.
“Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made.”